depressed teen holding her head

Many drugs are capable of causing physiological dependence, so that when a person quits taking the medicine he immediately experiences side effects. In many cases, these reactions may be similar to the original problem for which a person might have been given the prescription in the first place.

This can lead the patient or the physician to conclude that the original condition is still a serious problem, but this is not necessarily the case. The symptoms could be due to a rebound phenomenon. This reader has had a really difficult time withdrawing from Lyrica because of the rebound effect. Stopping Lyrica suddenly can trigger a range of miserable reactions, as we have described here.

Q. I have Lyme disease that was originally misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia. I was put on Lyrica to help with the constant pain.

For a while I thought it was working because if I accidentally skipped a dose I felt like I was dying. The awful pain, tremors, nausea and migraines I got when I didn’t take Lyrica were really a sign that I was totally dependent on it.

I’m now working to slowly wean myself off. That will take a long time because I’m on a high dose. I’m relieved to know that the depression, irritability and restless legs I’m experiencing is just my body coming down from the Lyrica.

Stopping Lyrica Suddenly

A. Pregabalin (Lyrica) has a reputation as a safe and well-tolerated treatment for nerve pain (neuropathy) and fibromyalgia. But readers have reported side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, confusion or brain fog, dry mouth and weight gain.

Stopping Lyrica suddenly can trigger symptoms such as insomnia, headache, anxiety, nausea, excessive sweating and diarrhea. The official prescribing information specifies gradual tapering over at least a week. Some people may require a much slower withdrawal process.

We are sorry that your misdiagnosis meant you took a medicine that was not helpful for your condition-and didn’t get the antibiotic that could help. To learn more about what a Lyme disease misdiagnosis can mean, you may want to listen to our interview with Dr. Neil Spector, author of Gone in a Heartbeat.


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  1. Venus
    Sacramento ca

    I have been taking this lyrica for less than a year I missed a dosage yesterday and last nite my feet went crazy pins and needles buzzing aching so severe omg! First thing I thought about was my diabetes but then lyrica came to mind I looked it up and omg that was the issue I can’t take it my overall body is acting up I feel like a dope pheen!! Need advice help me!

  2. Nan
    Shenandoah Valley, VA

    I’m reading the experiences of people who have taken Lyrica. They are mostly not good. Having taken a dosage of 300 mg. daily for years, I have not had the problems that others have reported. It has been a life-saver for the pain I was experiencing, and I have never felt high, gained weight or felt that I was addicted. I do take other meds too. Once when my phone-in prescription was overlooked, and I ran out, I did have terrible withdrawals effects: restless legs, anxiety and sleeplessness. I would not rule out trying this drug for fibromyalgia, If I was in chronic pain. I still experience bad leg pain, and other pain, but before I had pain in my entire body and even in my cheekbones. Drugs affect people differently. I don’t feel that lyrica is a bad drug.

  3. Cindy

    OMG!!! I was on Lyrica 50-75mg that the dr. wanted me to take three times a day. I gained 15 pounds in one month’s time. Now, I have belly pain in addition to chronic pain. I hope 6 month’s will not damage my heart and lungs. I stopped it cold turkey and the withdrawal is aweful!!!

  4. Michael

    I am a 41 year old male. When I was 24, I was jumped by five individuals with a bat. It shattered my tmj. Since then, I suffer from chronic facial nerve damage and depression. Literally, I have tried everything under the sun. It seems the only drug to reduce the pain is Percocet which I have never abused. Knowing what legislation is trying to do from the irresponsible people abusing it, I gave in about a year ago and started to take Lyrica and Cymbalta for the pain and depression. I went from 182 to 210 lbs in a year.

    Recently, I decided to do some research as my doctor increased my Lyrica from 50 to 75 to 150mg and my Cymbalta to 60mg both twice a day. Back in 2015, I turned down Cymbalta. Now, I know why lol. I decided to do some research and found some negative literature on both. I tried to quit cold turkey, and I am having cold chills at night; crazy dreams; dizziness; very depressed; trouble concentrating; and low work productivity. It has helped with the pain, but there is no way I can take these meds forever. I’d rather take a pain pill in the morning, and man up. I tried to suck it up, but this is bad. Also, I don’t think it even helps the depression. I just want to get off this stuff and return to normal. Please help…

  5. Inci

    4 years ago my GP put me on Lyrica 75mg/nightly because the nerve pain in my feet was keeping me awake at nights. For a few months it seemed to be working. However, the nerve pain came back again and the GP increased it to 150mg/nightly. This should be a red flag to indicate that this drug was addictive. Also, I was never told about the side effects of the drug. I was experiencing weight gain for no reason, dizziness and loss of balance, itches all over my body and incontinence day or night. As I am in my seventies, I took the problems as the blessings! of old age.

    2 years ago I suffered from a persistent cough that would not go away. A chest X-Ray showed water in my lungs, that also caused an infection and my heart had grown trying desperately to pump out the excess fluid. My GP said that I had fluid retention problem, which should have been told me as another serious side effect of Lyrica. I was put on Lasix, to get rid of the fluid in my system, as well as antibiotics to kill the infection.

    Anyway, finally about 2 weeks ago I was going overseas and I had terrible swelling on my feet. I went to my GP and he told me that this was fluid retention, again. As I would be flying for 14 hours, I was extremely worried. A frantic research by myself spotted the culprit for the various problems I was having for 4 years. In my fury, I put all the Lyrica tablets in the bin and decided to confront my doctor on my return to Australia.

    Needles to say, I suffered from withdrawal symptoms that ensued, by going cold turkey. But everything is already getting better, as well as the nerve pain, without Lyrica.

    Stay away from this addictive drug that can cause damage to your heart and lungs.

    • Christopher j

      My doctor put me on Pregabalin 150mg twice a day. I was in a fog so I just stopped taking the Pregabalin cold turkey. I did however replacing it with Gapapentin. The rule of thumb is 6× the dose. I took 300mg of Lyrics a day. I replaced it with.1800 mg of Gapapentin per day. 900 in a:m and 900 at bedtime. It has been one week today and I am doing okay. I did and sometimes still get anxiety attacks but they have been tolerable. I would of had a hard time without the Gabapentin. My pain is worse but that’s just what I have to deal with. Good luck.

  6. john

    Don’t start lyrica! It’s the most addictive substance on the planet. john

  7. Mike

    My pain management doc put me on Lyrica, 100mg x 2, for chronic migraines. Or because he had a “thing” with his drug rep and over-prescribed it. Anyway, while I’m not sure it helped with the headaches, since I also have regular old migraine meds, it did get me unexpectedly high sometimes. It seems like certain foods interact with it, and suddenly you’re drunk. Slurred speech, delayed motor skills (forget about typing), feeling of extreme well being. Honestly, any medication that does that needs to be viewed with suspicion.

    After ten years I dropped to 50mg x 2 and was no longer getting buzzed with it. Then last week my ‘scrip ran out, and I decided to leave it that way. So far some nausea, mild headache, a little unexplained anxiousness. Not intolerable.

    I would say that if your choice is between Lyrica and chronic, debilitating pain, take the Lyrica but the lowest possible dose. I think if you’re feeling “high” there’s more of it in your system than is needed to calm the nerve pain. If you’ve been prescribed it off-label for another reason, I’d bite the bullet and come off of it entirely. After some short term discomfort you’ll gain your old personality and energy level back, and lose some weight. Win/win!

    • Lisa

      I second that emotion. I have only been taking Lyrica a number of days. I absolutely couldn’t function taking this drug, it was like I was drunk and a mean drunk, so my dr and I thought I should stop taking it. I thought it would be no big deal since I’ve only taken it for just a few days. But OMG… The withdrawal symptoms have been brutal. Already. I had to call in sick to work yesterday and I was forced to take the Lyrica because of my body’s reaction to the withdrawal. Today I’ve laid in bed all morning, day and night, had to call in sick to work today, too. I already have someone working for me tomorrow.
      If you don’t have to take this drug don’t do it. Run don’t walk. I wish this on no one.

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